Volume 37: Internet Dating 101

“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think. We do this because we’re afraid. We fear we will not find love, and when we find it we fear we’ll lose it. We fear that if we do not have love we will be unhappy.”

-Richard Bach

The Internet is perhaps the greatest innovation of the communication field in history. With every great innovation, there will be advantages and disadvantages. The Internet has totally revolutionized the way that men and woman communicate with one another…and broadened the way that some tell lies and deceive the unsuspecting. I recall a time when meeting with someone for a blind date was looked upon as daring; Oftentimes friends would grow increasingly concerned with the potential results of arranged meetings with strangers. Today, many people look towards the Internet to find love-but what are some of the pros and cons of the Internet? What are its flaws? I believe that when statements are made on the web, there are three things to dissect: The actual phrase, what that phrase is designed to mean, and what it actually means.

Facebook is one of the nation’s most popular social networking websites- responsible for connecting and reuniting friends, classmates, and even long lost loves. But in the wrong hands, facebook can be a stalking ground for liars, sociopaths, and people looking to discreetly cheat and prey on those that don’t see the signs. During a recent conversation, a close friend and I laughed about the things that people keep it Less Than Real about: The things they say, what they want you to think, and what they really mean.

One of the most misleading things that I often observe on social networking websites is RELATIONSHIP STATUS. Have you ever had someone openly flirt with you on facebook or myspaceIn A Relationship? You look closer to see a profile picture of them and their significant other…engulfed in a teenage-like public display of affection. Facebook offers the options of stating that you’re in a relationship, single, or my personal favorite…”It’s Complicated.” Let us explore what is said, designed to say, and really mean… and you take a look at their profile and it reads:

IT SAYS: It’s complicated-meaning that something is difficult to analyze or understand; A puzzling complexity.

THEY WANT YOU TO THINK- They are still single and free to mingle. There may be someone on the horizon, someone that they are possibly dating. However, they are still technically single and there is something that obviously is keeping this from being a full-fledged relationship. They want you to feel bold enough to still pursue them.

IT REALLY MEANS- Someone is hittin’ that. They may not be in a relationship…yet…but someone is in the picture. Women often have a tendency to use this status option when they are in a lousy relationship and make pathetic attempts to shop the market before having complete closure in her relationship. Men tend to be slick and simply keep their status “Single”, but sistas will usually have the dignity to tell you that “It’s complicated”, confirming the old adage that men lie the most but women tell the biggest lies.

Internet social networking sites are often overrun with people who use what I call PICTURE TRICKERY-Picture trickery, aka O.A.P (Old Ass Pictures) are when people attempt to mislead you will outdated pictures of themselves that are not consistent to their current stature or glamour shots that mislead the observer. Fellas… how many of you know a sista who gained 10 lbs for every year that you’ve known her, but her profile picture is one taken 8 years ago when she was still a size 6?

It’s a cheap form of deception. And sistas, how many times have you come across the profiles of brothas that boast of their athletic builds and 6’3 frame…only to meet up with a 5’6 balding man who hasn’t been to a gym since High School Phys Ed?

Is it wrong to use an old picture of you in your prime? Even if that picture isn’t consistent with what you look like now? I guess ultimately it depends who you ask. As a photographer, I appreciate the right to see things exactly as they are, but also know firsthand that the camera, with a little photoshop and makeup can fool anyone. I’ve turned a few Chaka Khan’s into Halle Berry’s.

The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect. ~Esther Dyson

There’s a lot one can tell from a simple assortment of pictures. There are some women who post pictures of them selves, but have all of them cropped right outside of their face. No photographs of their bodies. This raises a red flag with the Educated Negro and leads us to believe that this is the cunning work of a woman, who may be insecure about her figure. To those women I offer this advice: Be yourself and embrace what you are.

You’re overweight? Fuck it, I’m skinny. I accept it, and make up for it ten fold with my intellect, charm and boyish good looks. (laughs) Men and Women can smell insecurity. It’s like blood in an ocean of frenzied sharks.

And finally, there are those things that I never want to see ever again on social networking sites. I think I speak for the entire human race when I express my detest for the PARTY PROMOTING ASSHOLE-who rapes my inbox with 10 invites a day to the same stupid parties at the same stupid clubs that no one wants to go to! I swear I want to track them down and do something horrible to them. I can see it now…they awaken in a filthy North Philadelphia basement chained to a contraption that I built. A TV screen across the room turns on and you see that doll from The SAW movies turn towards them.

Doll: (in an eerie SAW voice) “Hello Party Promoting Asshole. I want to play a game. For months now you have sent out thousands of invites to the same stupid clubs that no one wants to go to, and flooded people’s inboxes with your spam. The device on your chest is linked to a remote at a New York Club. If the DJ there plays 3 or more Jay-Z tracks, your head will explode. (If you’ve been to a New York club, you know that’s guaranteed to happen)

You have sixty seconds to send apologies to the inboxes of everyone that you solicit your stupid party’s to. Make your choice…live or die.”

(laughing out loud at my sadistic imagination)

Hooked on Internet? Help is a just a click away. ~Author Unknown

…These Are The Random Thoughts Of Ronald Gray…